Country CARES Trees

Dear Country School Community,

Spring has sprung! Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and the days are growing longer and warmer.  As we embark on April Vacation, we find ourselves reflecting on how much has changed over the last year at Country School and feeling grateful for where we are now. We’re pleased to share exciting news about how CS will be commemorating the past year – please read on!

Since September, the Country School PTO has been working to plant a tree to commemorate the resilience, growth, and grit of the CS community over the past year. As we settled back into the various learning models, it became apparent that outdoor learning offers many benefits to our students. Thus, our goal of one tree turned into the idea to enlarge and enhance an existing outdoor learning space with a few trees.

The symbol of the tree has become a powerful one for Country School. A few years ago, the students voted on the tree icon to become the Country CARES symbol. “CARES” stands for Compassion – Adventure – Respect – Effort  – Safety. We envision each of the five plantings to represent one of these core values that define our school.

We are pleased to introduce the Country CARES Trees and what will become the revamped CARES outdoor classroom! The space sits to the right of the school next to the circle when facing the school. There are currently a few logs, and we hope to enhance the area with more seating and a combination of five native trees and shrubs. Even when it is safe to return to a more typical school day, we believe that the pandemic has helped teach us about the value of outdoor learning, and we hope that this will continue into the coming years.

Here are just a few of the things the trees will help to achieve:

  • Enlarge an existing outdoor learning space

  • Collaborate with the science and social studies curriculum

  • Enhance the natural beauty of our campus and provide added shade

  • Assist pollinators, birds, and local wildlife in our community

The Country students will serve an important role in this project: naming the outdoor learning space. As with the naming of the Star Lab and the adoption of the tree symbol, the Country students will help come up with names, and our community will vote to pick the favorite. This will further help to unify our community this spring.

This project has indeed been a group effort, with help, guidance, and input from Dr. Erickson, Mrs. Maguire, Weston School Committee, Weston Tree Advisory Group (TAG), Buildings & Grounds, and even Eversource! If all goes as planned, we are working on a special tree-planting ceremony to coincide with Weston’s Arbor Day celebration on Friday, April 30. We’ll provide more information about the exact tree species, a plaque dedication, and ways to view the ceremony in the coming weeks.

We are continually amazed by the strength and fortitude of the CS community. The Country School community has endured so much over the past year, and while we are all excited to move past all things “Covid,” we are pleased to be able to commemorate this time as well. We hope you are as happy as we are about this meaningful project, and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Sincerely,

Taylor & Jill, CS PTO Co-Chairs